Lake - Extraterrestrial Lakes

Extraterrestrial Lakes

At present the surface of the planet Mars is too cold and has too little atmospheric pressure to permit the pooling of liquid water on the surface. Geologic evidence appears to confirm, however, that ancient lakes once formed on the surface. It is also possible that volcanic activity on Mars will occasionally melt subsurface ice, creating large lakes. Under current conditions this water would quickly freeze and sublimate unless insulated in some manner, such as by a coating of volcanic ash.

Only one world other than Earth is known to harbor lakes, Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Photographs and spectroscopic analysis by the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft show liquid ethane on the surface, which is thought to be mixed with liquid methane.

Jupiter's small moon Io is volcanically active due to tidal stresses, and as a result sulfur deposits have accumulated on the surface. Some photographs taken during the Galileo mission appear to show lakes of liquid sulfur on the surface.

There are dark basaltic plains on the Moon, similar to lunar maria but smaller, that are called lacus (singular lacus, Latin for "lake") because they were thought by early astronomers to be lakes of water.

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Famous quotes containing the word lakes:

    While the very inhabitants of New England were thus fabling about the country a hundred miles inland, which was a terra incognita to them,... Champlain, the first Governor of Canada,... had already gone to war against the Iroquois in their forest forts, and penetrated to the Great Lakes and wintered there, before a Pilgrim had heard of New England.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)